tardis' 2019 reading record
This is a continuation of the topic tardis' 2018 reading record.
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Happy New Year! May your books be many and excellent!
This thread will be much as in the past. Mostly short comments, rather than reviews.
For interest (if any), here are my previous reading threads:
2018 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/279810 (196 books read)
2017 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/245188 (221 books read)
2016 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/210797 (173 books read)
2015 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/185699 (180 books read)
2014 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163304 (170 books read)
2013 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/147262 (185 books read)
My TBR pile is at an all-time high (for me) of 128 books (print) plus a few ebooks.
1. Gardens of the Arts & Crafts Movement by Judith B. Tankard. A Christmas present to myself. A gorgeous, lushly-illustrated book on, well, exactly what the title says. Tankard goes back to the early days of the Arts & Crafts movement, with Morris, Voysey, et al. and then brings it into the present. Love it.
Happy new year! I hope it is a great one for you in real life and in books. I'm sure you're going to hit me with some bullets this year, as you usually do!
Happy new year!
That arts & crafts book sounds like something I'd enjoy browsing. Stopped getting them though, it's so depressing having books inspiring you of the unattainable (no real garden, the one we have needs to function with minimal care as we're only there for 6-8 weeks in a year, and some of those are during winter).
I started 2018 with a mystery series that disappointed - have not made that mistake this year. 4 Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout. All excellent.
2. Murder by the Book - what does a novel have to do with murder?
3. Before Midnight - an advertising exec is murdered and the answers to a million-dollar contest stolen.
4. The Mother Hunt - a widow is given a baby that may be her late husband's bastard. Who's the mother?
5. The Father Hunt - a girl gets a box full of cash on her mother's death, with a note saying it's "from her father" and wants to know who daddy is.
>8 MrsLee: Indeed. Satisfactory ;)
6. American Hippo by Sarah Gailey. Omnibus edition of River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, with a couple of short stories thrown in. I had previously read the novellas, so this is sort of a re-read, but worth it. Still fun.
7. Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy. Because exhuming an author's unfinished work and finishing it is always a good plan. I can't tell how much of this book is Marsh and how much is Duffy, but it was not up there with my favourite Marshes, being merely okay. Alleyn, for inexplicable reasons, is in New Zealand during the war looking for traitors. He's staying at a hospital, and there's theft and murder so he steps in to solve it.
8. Art Matters by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell. A slim book of Gaiman's talks with charming illustrations. Inspiring.
9. Out of Time by Lynn Abbey. Urban fantasy about a middle-aged library acquisitions specialist who discovers an injured girl in the stacks, and gets drawn into a weird world that links back to her long-disappeared mother. Pretty good, but only volume 1 of 4 and who knows if I'll ever get hold of the other volumes.
>10 tardis: - I believe I bought all four as ebooks from CJ Cherryh's (and friends') website - https://www.closed-circle.net/ where they've been releasing their out of print books as ebooks, depending on the time and will power to convert them. I don't know how operational it currently is, as Jane has been busy with other work.
>11 Sakerfalcon: Interesting. I don't buy e-books, though. Early reviewer books or other freebies, sure, but I can't bring myself to pay money for non-paper books. The only exception is Lois McMaster Bujold. I have added the Abbey books to my search list, though.
4 Liaden Chapbooks by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller:
10. Sleeping with the Enemy: Adventures in the Liaden Universe number 22
11. Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden universe number 23
12. Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe number 24
13. Degrees of Separation : Adventures in the Liaden Universe number 27
Between one and three stories in each, all illuminating some small portion of the Liaden story. I enjoyed them all.
>14 clamairy: Thank you! And same to you!
14. Scardown by Elizabeth Bear. Earth is not doing well. The Canadians and the Chinese are competing to get enough people off Earth to at least save the species. All the Canadian spaceships are named after Canadian cities (e.g. Calgary, Montreal), and the shuttles after Canadian musicians (e.g. Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot). Really good, although I didn't realize until the end that it was the middle book of a trilogy. Will have to look for the other two books.
15. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. 4th in the Wayward Children series, the what happens after you get back from Narnia or whereever? How to you fit back into the world? This one was kind of bleak, but still very good.
>10 tardis: Your recommendations are nearly always a win for me. I am so enjoying this book. Abbey has a real eye for the right detail, and she always seems to have a basis in reality, not to mention a nice turn of phrase.
Thank you, dear!
>17 2wonderY: you're welcome :)
16. Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon. A new book in the world of Paksennarion, although Paks herself features but little in it. There are three interwoven stories here, that of Kieri Phelan, now king of Lyonya, Arcolin, who took over Phelan's mercenary company, and Dorrin Verrakai, the only member of that traitorous clan who is untainted by the evil blood magic and becomes the Duke of Verrakai. Very good. Want more!
>16 tardis: I received an email from Barnes and Noble today that said she has a stand alone of the Wayward Children now out. I have yet to read one, but they are on my list.
You are in luck. The series has already been completed with four more books.
I have them all, and could lend them to you. Want to come and get them? :)
>22 NorthernStar: Um, no. The library has them - that's cheaper than driving up to your place :)
17. Water Weed by Andrew Cartmell, based on the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. Graphic novel. Can't get enough of Peter Grant & co. Very good.
18. Ground Rules: 100 easy lessons for growing a more glorious garden by Kate Frey. Bit simplistic, but cheerful and with lots of nice pictures of gardens. Good January garden fix :)
>24 pgmcc: Are you trying to cause trouble?
I'm well aware that the road only goes one way, but that also means that I get to borrow her books while my books are safe at home.
19. The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor. Sequel to The Nothing Girl which I read and loved last year. Jenny has been married to Russell for three years and they have added a daughter, Joy, to the menage that still includes Mrs. Crisp (cook/housekeeper), Marilyn (donkey), Boxer (horse), and a cat. In the course of the book they acquire another donkey, a bunch of chickens and a posh new neighbour. On the downside, Jenny has seen her nasty cousin, Christopher, watching her, and she's scared. Laughed a lot. Loved it.
20. For the Sake of the Game : Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger. I put this on hold at the library thinking it was a new Holmes and Russell novel from Laurie R. King, and obvs it isn't, but that's okay. The 14 stories in this anthology don't all have Holmes in them. Sometimes they're Holmes-adjacent, or the main character is inspired by Holmes, or whatever. In any case, mostly quite enjoyable.
>30 clamairy: yeah, a 12 or 13 hour drive. But NorthernStar does borrow a lot of my books when she's here.
>30 clamairy: I get down to visit tardis at least once a year, and read her books as much as I can, plus often borrow some books to take home :)
She rarely makes it up here, though.
21. Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove. Original story concept by Nancy Holder. Consulting editor Joss Whedon. Serenity is hauling a load of very explosive material and Captain Mal Reynolds is missing. Not bad. Didn't much like the backstory invented for Mal.
>33 tardis: I went looking, and there is a Firefly - Serenity series. Shall I add that book? Excited to learn there are novels in that universe.
>34 2wonderY: I don't know. Is the series for the graphic novels or regular novels?
It's for everything:
Companion volumes, commentary, role playing games, the films. I went ahead and added it.
22. The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt. Hutch pilots an expedition to find the source of a bit of video received through a telescope. Is there a real high-tech alien civilization out there? Some politics get in the way. Enjoyed it.
23. Kings of the North by Elizabeth Moon. More in the world of Paksenarrion, although she's not the focus. Barely there, in fact. Lots of threads woven together in this one, which is a direct continuation of Oath of Fealty and features the same three main characters, plus more. Very good.
26. The Hidden Goddess by M.K. Hobson. Sequel to The Native Star. Emily is in New York, putting up with society's strictures and Dreadnought's terrible family while waiting for his investiture as the Sophos of the Institute (most powerful of the credomancers) and their wedding. She contends with evil blood mages, Russians, and her fiance's rabid fans. Good.
27. A Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh. One off my TBR pile. An excellent mystery from the 1960s, later in CDI Alleyn's career. Alleyn is in the US, having meetings about art forgery, so Troy, his wife, takes a spur of the moment river cruise after a stressful gallery opening. There's something weird going on. Very enjoyable.
First (hopefully only!) DNF of 2019. Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. A schoolmaster and his much younger bride are on their honeymoon, visiting the Tower of Babel, when he loses her. It had a feel of Jonathan Strange and maybe the Johannes Cabal books, but it just didn't work for me. I took it back to the library.
28. Lady Henterman's Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Sequel to The Holver Alley Crew, in which the Rynax brothers and their crew attempt to discover the deeper layers around who is responsible for burning their neighbourhood. It's basically a heist book. Asti and Verci Rynax are in the grand tradition of tightly bonded brothers that includes the Winchesters.
29. Limits of Power by Elizabeth Moon. 4th in the Paladin's Legacy series. More of Kieri, Arvin, Dorrin, etc. Enjoyed it.
30. Crown of Renewal by Elizabeth Moon. 5th (final) in the Paladin's Legacy series. See above. Very good, although I'd like more. Moon tied up a lot of loose ends, but there are a few hanging, too.
Uh oh. Those Elizabeth Moon books look good, and they are very highly rated here on LT.
31. The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley. The last (probably) Flavia De Luce mystery. It begins with a finger found in Ophelia's wedding cake and then Flavia and Dogger, now running Arthur W. Dogger and Associates (Discreet Investigations) get a case. Very enjoyable, as always, and if there are no more I shall imagine Flavia and Dogger investigating on into the future.
32. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock. A princess without magic in a world where the elite all have it must use her wits and the help of a drunken musketeer to survive. Enjoyed it. Looking forward to the sequel.
33. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. YA. Daughter of a fighter pilot who turned on his team and ran from a battle fights the stigma of her father's cowardice to win a spot in pilot training. She's maybe a bit too good to be true, despite her mouthiness and lack of tact, but still a good story, and I gather I can look forward to a sequel.
34. Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold. A new novella in the Sharing Knife universe. Barr Foxbrush is on his way back from a long stay in the north, and stops in to check on his secret daughter, fathered 15 or so years before in an overnight stand with a farmer woman. There's some squicky stuff about him (being young and stupid) having beguiled the woman, making it non-consensual. He found out about the kid a couple of years later, and the woman (now married) told him to get lost and never come back. He's been secretly checking in, though. Anyway, after a family tragedy, the girl has run away and he goes to find her and discovered she has come into the Lakewalker part of her heritage, and she can't really go home. I really enjoyed this - the final part of Barr (at 34) finally becoming an adult, and what being a Lakewalker means.
35. Murder in the Dark by Simon R. Green. Green's protagonists are pretty much all Eddie Drood and Molly Metcalf, and this book is no exception, leaving aside the names being Ishmael Jones and Penny Belcourt. An archaeological team has been replaced with government scientists because a mysterious and dangerous black hole has appeared near their dig. Ishmael and Penny are sent to provide security. Decent fun.
36. Competence by Gail Carriger. A re-read because I just bought the paperback. Still fun and silly. Best to start with the beginning of the series, though.
37. Beginning with a Bash by Alice Tilton (AKA Phoebe Atwood Taylor). Apparently the very first Leonidas Witherall mystery, although published after the others and taking place later in Witherall's life. Features a bookstore, in which Witherall is working, having been laid off from his headmaster job and lost most of his money. I enjoyed it very much. The publisher (Foul Play Press) was crap, though. All their books are so badly bound - they fall apart.
38. Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels. A modern gothic, in which a professor of women's literature finds a book by a nearly unknown 19th century woman writer. Academic skullduggery ensues. Published in 1993 and shows its age a bit, but still enjoyable.
39. Murder with Peacocks (audiobook)
40. Murder with Puffins (print)
41. Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos (print)
All by Donna Andrews. I'm starting a re-read of the series, as for reasons that I'm not clear on, I need comfort reads. This series amuses me, and doesn't trigger my usual annoyance with amateur sleuths. Although honestly, the nasty little dog, Spike, must be about 25 by now, and poor Debbie-Ann, the Caerphilly County police dispatcher seems to be on duty 24/7. I probably won't binge through the whole series in one go - I've got library books, too.
Well, maybe my subconscious knew what my conscious didn't (and I wish it had made itself clear before it was too late!) - one of our cats died on Tuesday, and I'm fairly sure if I'd taken him to the vet a day or two sooner, he could have been saved. Will never know for sure, though. And cats can be so stoic - hard to tell when they're in the early stages of suffering. Miss him a lot, though. He was my lap cat.
42. Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews. Meg is working for her brother's software company because she hurt her hand and can't do her blacksmithing. One of the programmers dies. The title is from some of the fake martial arts moves that Meg is teaching her brother to amuse herself. Also the software company has a live buzzard, who really ought to be at a wildlife rehab facility.
43. We'll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews. Meg's boyfriend, Michael is attending a con for a cult TV series in which he plays a saturnine wizard. To suit the jungle feel of the series, the concom have acquired a bunch of assorted parrots, monkeys, and a tiger. The parrots and monkeys have got loose and are running around the hotel. Obviously, Andrews has been to media cons, and the portrayal of the fans is pretty accurate, but not mean.
44. Endgames by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. I think this is the end of the Imager series. It felt a bit like Modesitt was just tired of it and decided to finish it. I like the series, but it never feels quite real. The in-story religion feels fake, and the characters seldom face what feels like real peril or deep emotion. Still, decent enough.
I'm so sorry about your cat. They can be very mysterious with their needs! I hope you find some comfort in reading.
Hindsight is a harsh mistress. Don't berate yourself. You can only do the best you know how each day. *Hug*
Thanks all for the condolences. It's amazing how much we miss even the annoying things he did :(
47. The Penguin Who Knew Too Much by Donna Andrews. The local zoo is bankrupt and the animals are temporarily fostered out. Meg and Michael end up with a lot of them, while trying to move into the house.
48. Cockatiels at Seven by Donna Andrews. An old friend drops her toddler off for a short visit with Meg and Michael, but then doesn't come back. Meg goes looking.
More Donna Andrews:
49. Six Geese A-Slaying - Meg manages the Christmas parade. Somebody offs Santa.
50. Swan for the Money - Meg is rooked into managing the Rose Show.
51. Stork Raving Mad - The power is out at the college so Meg and Michael are hosting a large number of students. Meg is also 8.5 months pregnant with twins. Chaos ensues.
52. The Real Macaw - the twins are 4 months old and Meg wakes up to find that she and Michael are hosting the former inhabitants of the local animal shelter to save them from being euthanized to save money. The town, it turns out, is well in debt and the "evil lender" is planning to foreclose.
55. Duck the Halls by Donna Andrews. Skunks in the Baptist Church, ducks in the Catholic Church, a boa constrictor for the Episcopalians. A rash of vandalism messes up Christmas in Caerphilly. Fun.
56. The Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews. Meg and co. go to a nearby town to find her grandmother's murderer and also round up a bunch of feral emus. The emus all have names after famous literary and suffragist figures. Fun.
57. That Ain't Witchcraft by Seanan McGuire. My birthday present from Seanan. For the last few years she's been releasing a new Incryptid novel on or very near my birthday, and I love it. In this one, Antimony Price and friends take on the Crossroads. Fun, funny, and very good. Loved it.
58. The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen. WW1, and bored Emily Bryce finally escapes the clutches of her overprotective parents and volunteers to be a land girl. Good.
59. The Nightingale Before Christmas by Donna Andrews. Meg is managing the decorators participating in a holiday design competition for charity. Fun.
60. Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews. Halloween in Caerphilly, and they've got a major festival on. Meg is managing security for the event. There's a corpse, of course. And how is the unaffiliated scavenger hunt involved with it?
61. Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews. Meg's young sons are playing baseball, and there are dastardly deeds in the league. Fun, as always.
62. Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara. A re-read. I have a bunch of the later volumes in this series in the TBR pile and I decided to start from the beginning again because it's been at least a few years. Very enjoyable series.
63. Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong. Well, someone seems to have explained to Kelley that there are no raccoons in the Yukon, since she didn't mention them in this book :). This is one of the Rockton books, about a secret northern Canadian town for people who need to drop off the face of the earth for reasons. There's been a security breach and a US Marshal has arrived to try to apprehend a resident. Is he really a marshal? Is he really there on official business or is it a private thing? Also, in the absence of a doctor, Casey and Eric recruit Casey's estranged sister, who is a surgeon, originally thinking she'd just do a distance consult with the local paramedical staff, but she ends up coming with them back to Rockton. Pretty good.
64. Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara. #2 of the Elantra series. Kaylin meets Politics. Not her forté.
65. Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara. #3 in the Elantra series. Kaylin associates with dragons and seeks an ancient and dangerous stolen box.
66. Cast in Fury by Michelle Sagara. Kaylin's beloved Sgt. Kassan is accused of murder. At the same time, she and Severn are summoned to court to keep a playwright on track and help him accurately portray the Tha'alani telepaths in a propaganda play designed to make them seem sympathetic to other residents of Elantra. Kaylin is as tactless and impulsive as ever, but she does seem to be learning a bit.
This is the last of the Elantra books that I own, so there will be a break while I get hold of later volumes in the series. Back the TBR pile for my next read!
67. Fire Works in the Hamptons by Celia Jerome. A middling urban fantasy about a small east-coast town inhabited by people with weird gifts. This was in the giveaway pile in my house, so I must have read it before, but it rang no bells so I read it again. Still not a keeper.
68. The Iron Codex by David Mack. Second in the Dark Arts series. Anja is in South America, killing Nazis. Cade is wandering the world on the payroll of MI6. Briet is established in Washington in a magical think-tank (sort of). There's a rogue practitioner with Armageddon in mind. I find the magic system a bit unattractive, but a good story.
69. Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon. First in the Vatta's War series. Ky Vatta has been booted out of military academy in disgrace, and her father gives her command of one of the family's trading ships to get her out of the way of the paparazzi. Is very good. The next few books in the series are in my TBR pile, and I'll be reading them shortly.
>80 tardis: I really did enjoy the Vatta's War series, I've reread it a couple of times. I thought the series held up well, start to end.
>81 NorthernStar:, >82 Busifer: I'm glad I finally got to them. So hard to keep up!
70. Marque and Reprisal
71. Engaging the Enemy
72. Command Decision
73. Victory Conditions
All by Elizabeth Moon, and finishing off the Vatta's War series. Of course there is a following series, Vatta's Peace, but I haven't got them yet. A very enjoyable series. A somewhat smaller canvas than milSF like the Honor Harrington series, but also without the endless infodumps. Comparable to and nearly as enjoyable as Tanya Huff's Valor series.
73. Hammered by Elizabeth Bear. The 14th book I read this year (Scardown, >15 tardis:) is the second book in this series, and this is #1. Mildly annoying, since #1 was in my TBR pile as well, and I didn't find it until I was looking for something else the other day. #3 is not in the pile (probably). Anyway, it was good, and fills in some of the things that would have helped #2 be even better, although it was actually pretty good even on its own. I shall have to put more effort into finding book #3.
Edited because I got the author's surname wrong. First name was right, though!
>84 tardis: - typo - you mean Elizabeth Bear, not Moon. Confused me, as I thought I knew all Moon's books, and didn't recognize that one!
>85 NorthernStar: DOH! It's because I've been reading both Moon and Bear lately. I will fix it!
74. A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn. Veronica, Stoker, and Stoker's oldest brother visit an island, ostensibly to collect some glasswing butterflies for Veronica's vivarium, but really because the lord of the island wants to know what happened to his bride, who disappeared on their wedding day three years before. Family secrets, smuggler's tunnels, priest holes. Good fun.
77. How the Finch Stole Christmas by Donna Andrews. Continuing the re-read as I pick up the few later Meg Langslow mysteries that I didn't already own. This one (obvs) is Christmas-themed, as a washed-up actor threatens to torpedo the Caerphilly College stage production of "A Christmas Carol"
78. Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon. Knocking more stuff off my TBR pile. Parts of this series have been around for a while, waiting for me to get the first book in the series, which this is. Heris Serrano has resigned from the space service under a cloud and takes a job as Captain for a rich woman's yacht. Very good.
81. Once a Hero by Elizabeth Moon. Still in the Serrano-verse, but featuring Lt. Esmay Suiza, who after a mutiny ended up the senior officer and assuming command of one of the ships originally commanded by traitors in Winning Colors. Very good.
82. Crashing Heat by Richard Castle. Improbable and silly, but enjoyable mystery allegedly from the protagonist of the Castle TV series.
My stupid brain chose last night to barf up all my angst and grief over the cat's death, so I read all night instead of sleeping. Thank goodness for excellent books!
84. Cold Welcome
85. Into the Fire
both by Elizabeth Moon. Ky Vatta goes home to Slotter Key to do some family business and do some other stuff. The first book is where it all starts going horribly wrong. The second is the aftermath which leads into revolution. Very good!
>94 tardis: ooooh. I've been waiting for the next book to come out. BRB putting it on wishlist...
Also, I feel you on the stupid brain thing. Hang in there.
I didn't realize I had taken a book bullet until I came home from the library with the omnibus Heris Serrano.
>99 reconditereader: Yes! Hope you like it as much as I did!
89. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. This was very good, but I really had to pay attention and read slower than normal, because the narrator's voice, the way it was telling the story to one of the characters, was so odd to me. Odd in a good way. It was absorbing. This may make my "best of 2019" list.
90. The Bafut Beagles by Gerald Durrell. An oldie but goodie - Durrell collecting animals in 1950s Africa. Funny. The pidgin English grates a bit, but presumably is true to life at that time. The Fon of Bafut is a charming fellow. Durrell's observations of life in Bafut are coloured by his time, though, and there was at least one incident (involving people, not animals) that I found problematic. Durrell was an observer, not a participant, though, and I'm not sure what he could have done about it, even had he been inclined.
>101 tardis: Why do you find two different cultures using a pidgin to communicate "grating"? It seems odd to object to which language someone speaks.
Personally the fact that Durrell evidently learnt to speak the relevant local pidgin endeared him to me rather more than the variety of traveller who simply speaks English loudly and expects the locals to have learnt his language and understand him.
>102 -pilgrim-: I don't know. You're right that it isn't logical. I don't think I was so much objecting to what language they spoke, but the feel of it. Which as I said, is presumably reflected accurately by Durrell, so that's on me. Maybe I just need to read more Durrell to get used to it again.
Next are two kids' books that came from Mom's house when she was downsizing.
91. The Secret Railway by Elizabeth Beresford. Three kids clean up an abandoned railway station and in the process become friends and save the day. Enjoyable. First published in 1973 and much of it's time, with disaffected youth louts with a band.
92. The Children Who Lived In A Barn by Eleanor Graham. When their parents' airplane disappears, five siblings are kicked out of their house and move into a barn. Much about making-do and earning money. First published 1938, with the gender roles and such that one would expect - the oldest girl, Susan (and why are so many responsible girls in literature called Susan?), is the caretaker for her siblings, although brother Bob helps a bit.
>103 tardis: Reading Durrell waa my first introduction to the concept of artificial languages. In that example I believe the basic form was to apply the grammar of the local language to vocabulary largely drawn from English.
>107 Sakerfalcon: Considering the straightforward names of the other characters, it never occurred to me to ask. But it did raise eyebrows when I re-read the book a few years ago (on first reading nearly 60 years ago it sailed straight over my childhood head).
>105 -pilgrim-:, >107 Sakerfalcon: Could also be Patricia
But some googling reveals that the name came from a real person with that nickname, who was actually named Mavis. (from Wikipedia: This name was the nickname of the real life Mavis Altounyan, taken from Joseph Jacobs's children's story Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse.)
93. The Secret of the Missing Boat by Paul Berna. This is another that came from Mom's. Paul Berna's kids' books are forgotten treasures, at least in English translation. A Hundred Million Francs (originally Le cheval sans tete) may still be available, and some are still in print in French. Anyway, I pick them up where I can and read them gladly. Oh, and the translator (John Buchanan-Brown) does a fantastic job. In this one, set in Brittany, a boy salvages a dinghy from the mud and it leads to mystery and intrigue. I am a big fan of Swallows and Amazons and this is more of the same - kids (who are not duffers) messing about in boats.
>110 tardis: Was there a film made of the Hundred Million Francs in the 1960s? I recall a film with kids, bad guys, somethig the kids had that the bad guys wanted, a warehouse full of toys/fairground figures, and a toy horse on wheels with no head.
EDA: I checked IMDb and it appears my memory is working this morning. There was a clue in the movie title: “The Horse With No Head; The 100,000,000 franc train robbery.”
It was one of the first films I was ever takento the cinema to see. That is probably why I have a reasonably good memory of having seen it. The french title of the book triggered my grey matter: I have an image of the headless horse in my mind when I think of this movie. I think the end credits rolled over the image of the horse and that imprinted it in my mind.
Thank you for churning up a happy memory for me.
>111 pgmcc:, Peter, not sure if you're aware but you can always check on the Common Knowledge section of the book for related movie links. If there's one there then it will link to the respective IMDB page.
Thank you for that. I was not aware of that feature. I live and learn. :-)
>111 pgmcc: I saw the movie in extreme youth on the Magical World of Disney, which was on every Sunday evening. That's probably why I started reading Paul Berna's books. There are others about the same kids.
94. A Truckload of Rice by Paul Berna. I was browsing my TBR pile when I saw this, and fresh off enjoying The Secret of the Missing Boat, I grabbed it. This is a good little mystery, set in the suburbs of Paris. A campaign to raise money to buy a truckload of rice for the starving people of a village in India almost comes apart when some of the money is stolen. Berna's kids are so well-drawn - they always feel quite real.
95. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. This was really good. Space opera, with juicy politics and high stakes. Mahit Dzmare is the new ambassador to the Teixcalaanli Empire, but the previous ambassador was murdered and she hasn't the resources she ought to have to make her way in Teixcalaanli society and government. Finding allies and enemies, and figuring out what's going on makes an absorbing read.
>116 tardis: I just got a copy of this! Can't wait to read it, it's had great reviews!
>116 tardis: Oh, sounds like my kind of book, I had never heard of the author. One more for the list...!
>118 Busifer: I think this is her first book. I hope you like it!
96. The Chimneys of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. Tolly is back at Green Knowe for the Easter Holidays, learning more of its history and past inhabitants and searching for missing jewels. A nice read.
97. A Stranger at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. On her own for the summer, Mrs. Oldknowe has invited Ping, a Burmese refugee boy, to stay for the summer. Exploring Green Knowe and an escaped gorilla fascinates him.
>120 reading_fox:: Yes, I got A Memory Called Empire from the public library, so it's published :)
98. Gone Gull by Donna Andrews. More comfort re-reading, thanks to a very disappointing and depressing result in yesterday's provincial election. Also the paperback of this one just arrived. Meg is working at the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center for the summer, helping her grandmother run it and teaching blacksmithing. There's been an outbreak of vandalism, but that's not as bad as murder.
99. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. A classic of SF, which has been on my shelf for many years. I pulled it off a few days ago, thinking to get rid of it and realized that I could not recall ever reading it before. Anyway, yes, it's a classic. Very thoughtful, very deep. Post-apocalyptic - the fall/rise/fall of man, ad infinitum. And having read it (again?) I know I can let it go.
>122 tardis: I’m likely to read this for the (definitely) first time around June with a few people on GR. I've been looking forward to it with some curiosity.
100. A Parliament of Bodies by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Action-packed fantasy police procedural (sort of) as Inspectors Rainey and Welling track a horrific killer who kills with booby-trapped clockwork machines. Characters from the other Maradaine sub-series come into this one, too - Dayne Heldrin of the Tarian Order and an unnamed gadgeteer who helps disarm some of the clockwork murder machines. Several important loose ends at the end of this book - looking forward to the next one!
>119 tardis: I really need to find and read all the Green Knowe books! I loved the first one!
101. The Librarians and the Pot of Gold by Greg Cox. The Librarians, their Guardian, and Jenkins versus the Serpent Brotherhood, again, racing to find a leprechaun's pot of gold. Which sounds hokier than it actually is :). Good brain candy.
102. Virtue Signaling and Other Heresies by John Scalzi. A collection of Scalzi's blog posts from 2019-2018. Always entertaining, but as I'd read most of them when he published them on the blog, I did end up skimming quite a few.
103. Heroine's Journey by Sarah Kuhn. Book 3 of Heroine Complex. Bea Tanaka wants to be a superhero like her older sister, Evie, and Evie's superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang), but Evie can't see her as anything but the angsty teenager she used to be and not the adult she is. A great romp.
104. Jade City by Fonda Lee. This was really good, but I haven't decided if I'll read the next book in the series. I can't say I liked most of the characters much, and it was pretty violent and bleak. Gang wars in a country rather like Japan. Fascinating magic system, though.
105. At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon. It's 1936 and the British and German governments are cultivating people with paranormal talents. Kim Tavistock is living at her ancestral home and not getting on with her Nazi-sympathizer father, and she also has a talent called "spill" which means people spill secrets to her. Pretty good. Will look for more in this series.
106. Tinker by Wen Spencer. Tinker is a girl genius, but also incredibly naive. I liked this story, but the number of times she said yes to something without actually knowing what she was being asked to do stretched credibility. Still, by the end of the book she might have learned. Maybe.
107. The True Queen by Zen Cho. Sequel to Sorcerer to the Crown, which I really liked. This one was good, too. It focused mainly on Muna, who has no memory before waking up on a beach in Janda Baik with her sister, Sakti. They are sent to England to the Sorceress Royal, but Sakti is lost along the way. Muna must navigate English society and find her sister. Very good.
108. The Red Box by Rex Stout. Another classic from the master. 'Nuf said!
109. No Country For Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. Silly, packed with puns, and fun. I actually liked this better than the previous entry in the series, Kill the Farm Boy. A tiny bit of overlap in characters from KTFB, but mainly new series, this time focusing on attacks on gnomes by halflings. Two gnomes fight back, along with a rag-tag group including an ovitaur (like centaurs, but with sheep), an automaton, a gryphon who LOVES eggs (especially in nice fluffy omelets garnished with ladybugs) and umlauts, a dwarf, and a halfling.
>71 tardis: Ah, your sister read The Victory Garden, too. Amazon keeps pushing this one at me. LOL
>78 tardis: What? Fire Works in the Hamptons? The Hamptons are the towns right across the bay from me. In Gatsby's language The Hamptons are 'East Egg' to my 'West Egg.' (That's where all the celebrity money houses are...) That doesn't sound very promising, but it's got a pretty decent rating here on LT.
>100 tardis: So you recommend the Leckie?
>136 clamairy: The Hamptons book was okay. Just not something I feel the need to read again. And yes, I do recommend the Leckie :)
110. The Body in the Wake by Katherine Hall Page. A Faith Fairchild mystery. Faith is a murder magnet, and I don't know why anyone stays close to her except for her cooking. Also the book includes recipes, which is usually not a good sign, but in this case I like the characters and the non-mystery sub plots are enjoyable, too.
111. Please Pass the Guilt by Rex Stout. Cut-throat competition between corporate executives leads to murder. Or does it? A later book in the Nero Wolfe series, and good as always.
112. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs. A Mercy Thompson novel. The coyote shifter and her werewolf husband are drawn into providing security for a meeting between the Grey Lords of the Fay and the US Government. Good as usual.
113. Prisoner of Midnight by Barbara Hambly. As always, Hambly's vampires are a mix of inhuman and human (mostly inhuman) that feels plausible and rather scarier than most. The "good" vampire, Don Simon Ysidro, has been captured and is being taken to America on a passenger liner. It's 1917, and the danger of German uboats is very real. He manages to alert Lydia, James and Captain Palfrey to his plight and give them a clue as to the ship. James is stuck in France, but Lydia and Palfrey board the liner to see what they can do. Very good, although the resolution felt a bit anticlimactic.
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